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The Third Parliament of Charles I. was opened on the 17th of March, 1628, and Selden again took his seat among the leaders of the constitutional party. He spoke frequently, and although no orator, he always secured the attention of the House by his learning, gravity, and moderation. His influence was powerfully felt in the debates upon the "Petition of Right,” which reasserted the ancient liberties of England, and their glorious success was not a little due to his strenuous effort.

The Petition, after stirring vicissitudes, received the royal assent on the 7th of June; but Charles was as resolute as ever to maintain the arbitrary prerogatives he had inherited from the Tudors, and his assent was a shadow and a mockery. To keep men in prison without bringing them to trial, so that they might prove their innocence, was the kingly privilege he valued most highly, and the judges assured him that his assent to the petition did not involve its abandonment. Therefore the contention between king and Parliament was not at an end; it had only begun. Flushed with the consciousness of their strength, the Commons, however, with much assistance from Selden, proceeded to discuss the reforms that were necessary in Church and State, and especially the need of limiting the power of the Crown to impose taxation at will. So long as it could raise money of its own volition, so long would it remain independent of Parliamentary control. In earnest about the full performance of their task, the Commons drew up two energetic remonstrances—one against the Duke of Buckingham, the other declaring that “tonnage and poundage,” like every tax, could be levied only in virtue of the law (21st June). Then Charles lost patience. Having obtained sufficient subsidies to supply his needs, he thought he was free to go his own course. Hurrying down to the Lord's House he prorogued Parliament until the 20th of October, and thus abruptly closed a session rendered famous by that Petition of Right to which in later times the people always appealed ; to which, as Dr. Lingard says, the Crown was eventually compelled to submit.

During the recess, Selden addressed himself with eagerness to his old avocations, and prepared and published his “Marmorea Arundeliana," a learned description of the valuable relics of ancient art which the Earl of Arundel had recently brought to England. He also composed two ecclesiastical and legal treatises, “Of the Original of Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Testaments," and “Of the Disposition or Administration of Intestate's Goods.”

He was recalled to the stir and stress of political controversy when Parliament had reassembled on the 20th of January, 1629. In the interval, Buckingham had fallen, stricken to death by an assassin's knife; but the grounds of quarrel between king and Commons had undergone no alteration. The debates soon acquired a tone of indignant bitterness, and religious questions added fresh fuel to the gradually spreading fire. Charles endeavoured to check them, and on the 28th of February, sent down a message commanding the House to adjourn until the 10th of March. But understanding that this adjournment was a prelude to a dissolution, Eliot, Selden, Holles, and others, resolved to put forward a formal declaration of the House, recording for the edification of the people the result of its debates on the illegal levy of taxation, and the encouragement given to Popery and Arminianism. After delivering the royal message, the Speaker made a movement to leave the chair, but Denzil Holles and Benjamin Valentine, probably by a preconcerted arrangement, sprang forward, laid hold of his arm on either side, and firmly held him down. The suddenness of the surprise discomfited Finch, and Sir John Eliot, taking advantage of the pause, addressed the House, which listened to him without interruption, but in a state of growing excitement :

“You know," he cried, “ how our religion is attempted; how Arminianism like a secret pioneer undermines it; how Popery like a strong enemy comes on openly! Among the enemies of true religion, and the authors of their troubles were some prelates of the Church. I denounce them," he continued, " as enemies to His Majesty. Whoever have occasioned these public breaches in Parliament for their private interests and respects, the felicity has not lasted to a perpetuity of that power. None have gone about to break Parliaments but in the end Parliaments have broken them. . . . It is fit for us," he added, " as true Englishmen, in discharge of our duties, to show the affection that we have to the honour and safety of our sovereign, to show our affection to religion, and to the rights and interest of the subject. It befits us to declare our purpose to maintain them, and our resolution to live and die in their defence. That so, like our fathers, we may preserve ourselves as free men, and by that freedom keep ability for the supply and support of His Majesty, when our services may be needful. To which end this paper which I hold was conceived, and has this scope and meaning."

A storm of voices broke forth, and members started from their seats either to defend or menace the dismayed Speaker, or to seek a hearing amid the tumult. Twice was the Speaker bidden to put the declaration to the vote; twice, with tears, he protested that the king had otherwise ordered him. He made a second effort to leave the chair, but was again held down by Holles, Valentine, and Long-Holles stoutly swearing " by God's wounds” that he should sit there so long as it was their pleasure. A third appeal was made to him, and Selden gravely warned him that such obstinacy must not go unpunished, lest it should be made an evil precedent; while Hayman disowned him for a Kentishman, hotly denounced bim as a disgrace to his family and a reproach to his country, and proposed that a new Speaker be cbosen in his place. The stir and turmoil continued to increase, until fierce blows were exchanged; force met force, and ready hands sought their sword-hilts. “Let all," exclaimed William Strode, "who desire this declaration read and put to the vote stand up." With a fierce “ Aye, aye !” the great body of members instantly rose, and Eliot flung his paper into the midst of them on the floor of the House.

Soon afterwards, the Serjeant-at-Arms attempted to lift the mace from the table, which in itself would have involved a suspension of the proceedings; but Sir Miles Hobart wrested it from him, and also shut and locked the door of the House, putting the key into his pocket. At this moment Sir John Eliot came forward with a shorter declaration, which he read amid a tumult of applause ; and thereafter Denzil Holles, while Black Rod was knocking at the door, produced the following resolutions, and standing close to the chair, in which, sullen and silent, still sat the Speaker, cried out in a loud voice that he there and then put it to the question :

First, “Whoever shall bring in innovation in religion, or by favour seek to extend or introduce Popery or Arminianism, or other opinions disagreeing from the true and orthodox Church, shall be reputed a capital enemy to this kingdom and commonwealth."

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or his learning; but when, in 1614, he gave to the world his elaborate treatise upon "Titles of Honour,” the full measure of his erudition was at once perceived. It contains an extraordinary amount of curious information respecting the degrees of nobility and gentry in England, and similar distinctions in other countries, all carefully systematised, and illustrated with judicious comments. Archbishop Usher thought it “Selden's best book;” it is, I think, always excepting the “Table-Talk," his most readable.

With indefatigable industry and keen intellectual acumen Selden went on his laborious way, groping in the dusty by-paths of history and law; and collecting facts, precedents, and evidences of usage, with all the zeal of a constitutional reformer, who found in the Past bis landmarks for the guidance of the Present. He looked on, by no means unconcerned, though not directly involved, at the great struggle which had already begun between authority and right, between the prerogatives of the crown and the privileges of the people, and patiently elucidated the principles upon which, as he conceived, it might justly and pacifically be settled. Meanwhile, quietly waiting the further development of a contention which was to expand far beyond any limits at that time conceived of by the boldest, he continued his antiquarian labours, and constantly gained in reputation and influ

We find bim, in 1616, editing Sir John Fortescue's famous treatise, “De laudibus Legum Angliæ " (written between 1461 and 1470), and Hengham's

Summæ,” with elaborate annotations; and addressing to Sir Francis Bacon, on whom the great seal had just been conferred, a “Brief Discourse” upon the office of Lord Chancellor of England.

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